The Weberian Politics-Administration Dichotomy in Time of Global Crisis: Neutral Competenceor Cadre Organizations

Michael Guo-Brennan


The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic placed enormous pressures on local, regional, and national governments to remain responsive, open, and equitable when developing solutions to protect the public. The focus of this article is an examination of these challenges, the insufficient preparedness, and the resulting response to the pandemic through the lens of the Weberian politics-administration dichotomy. Despite the fact that China does not practice a Weberian democratic form of government, the nation has managed to become a global economic powerhouse. Through a high degree of centralized planning, China has implemented market-based economic reforms synchronous with sustained socialist practices. However, this system also presents unique challenges for effective governance. Some of these challenges are the result of the governmental system in China, the relationship between the central government and local cadre organizations. For China to continue to grow as a global leader, leadership will need to balance the pros and cons of the dichotomy between the centralized political planning and the local administration by promoting more flexibility in governance structure and the central-localrelationship.

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